Ever wonder where things like reins for bridles, belts, pet collars, and trim come from? If they’re not leather, they’re most likely woven (though there are many other ways, for example, spool knitting, but I digress). The type of loom used can vary, but here’s what I find interesting.
My weaving instructor, Natalie Boyett of the Chicago Weaving School, (and if you’re here in the city, or visiting, and have ever thought about maybe learning to weave, go there. She’s hands-down one of the best instructors I’ve ever had), showed me that weaving is one of the oldest textile arts. Here’s a brain-bender – all looms are fundamentally the same: they are designed to put tension on the warp (the length-wise threads) so that the craftsperson can put the weft (the cross-wise threads) in between them. In this way, fabric is created.
So what’s an inkle loom? It’s a small, usually portable, loom that allows you to wind on a continuous warp, which means it can be really, really long. The weaving surface isn’t very wide, usually only a few inches, because the idea is to weave narrow fabric. There’s an example of one here.
What about you, Dear Reader?
What would you want to make if you could wave a magic wand and know how to use an inkle loom?